How Do You Write a Personal Legacy Statement?

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A personal legacy statement allows an individual to tell others, typically next-generation family members, what he hopes or hoped to accomplish in his life. The statement also explains why the person made certain choices. People often write personal legacy statements in conjunction with their wills. While personal legacy statements are usually written by older people, young people can also write hypothetical legacy statements to help chart the course of their lives.

  1. Express your vision

    Think about the choices you made when you were younger, and express what your hopes and dreams were at that time. List the goals you had as you started your adult life in the areas of work, finance, relationships, physical attainments and spiritual growth. If you are young, list the things you would like to accomplish and what makes you feel fulfilled.

  2. Tell your story

    As you write your personal legacy statement, tell your history. Explain what you originally hoped to achieve in life and how you tried to achieve it. Include information about the mistakes you made along the way. Speculate on whether or not you would make the same choices if you had another opportunity. Include any moral, ethical or religious principles that guided your choices through the years.

  3. Look to the future

    Define clearly what you still hope to accomplish in your life, and encourage those reading your legacy statement to set their own goals and try to achieve them. If you are leaving unfinished work for someone else to continue, give the person permission to do so, and express your feelings regarding that work.